The Geology of La Brea Pitch Lake

The pitch lake as we know it today was called by the Amerindians (Piche) which means Pitch, while the Spaniards called it (“TIRRA DE BREA”) which means, “Land of Pitch. The British however called it “PITCH LAKE”, but like many parts of this lovely island of Trinidad they kept part of the Spanish name, hence the village is still called “LA BREA”.

The lake measures approximately one hundred acres (41 hectares), and is estimated to be two hundred and fifty (250) feet (76meters) deep in the center. This wonder holds an estimated ten million tons (10) of pitch; a total of one hundred and eighty (180) tons of pitch is extracted from the lake per day. At the current rate of extraction the lake is estimated to have renewable reserve of pitch for the next four hundred (400) years.